March 27, 2008
AUBURN - The Auburn men's tennis team closes out its home schedule this weekend with a pair of Southeastern Conference matches against teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation.
The 25th-ranked Tigers (9-7, 3-3 SEC) will play under the lights Friday at 5 p.m. at the City of Auburn / Auburn University Yarbrough Tennis Center as No. 12-ranked Tennessee (15-2, 4-2 SEC) comes to town.
The match is "Pack the Stands Night" as fans are encouraged to come out to the Yarbrough Tennis Center and support the Tigers in this weekend's crucial final home stand. Admission to the match is free with free pizza and prizes available to the fans.
Action then continues Sunday with a 1 p.m. match against third-ranked Georgia, the defending NCAA team champion.
"It's a big weekend for us," said Auburn head coach Eric Shore. "We are playing well, but we are going to have to be ready to play if we expect to beat two top 15 teams."
The Tigers are coming off of a 4-3 loss to No. 63 Kentucky on the road in Lexington, Ky., last Sunday. Tennessee comes to Auburn on a two-match winning streak with SEC victories over No. 41 Arkansas and No. 19 LSU last weekend.
Tennessee boasts three ranked singles players as well as two doubles teams ranked in the Top 50.
Freshman J.P. Smith is the 17th-ranked singles player in the nation and is one part of both of Tennessee's ranked doubles duos. Smith and Kaden Hensel are No. 17 while Smith and Davey Sandgren are 47th.
Hensel is currently the No. 117 singles player nationally while Boris Conkic is No. 118.
"J. P. Smith has continually played well as a freshman, but we have also had success through our own freshman Tim Puetz," Shore said.
"We are hoping to have a big crowd come out to support us, and our seniors are fired up to win," Shore said.
Admission is free to both matches at the City of Auburn / Auburn University Yarbrough Tennis Center. Fans that cannot make it to the matches can follow live stats at www.AuburnTigers.com.